Special to the Review
Almost perfect conditions greeted the 200 skiers who took part in the first cross country ski race of the season for Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club (RNSC). The race was Teck Okanagan Cup #1 and the qualifier for the BC Winter Games happening in Vernon at the end of February.
The welcomed warmer temperatures and new snow compensated for the punishing courses that racers had to navigate.
Challenging uphills and technical descents kept skiers on their toes and suffering, regardless of their race distance. Courses ranged from 1.5 km for skiers under the age of 10, up to 10 km for masters skiers. This day was an interval start classic technique event which saw skiers start at 15 second intervals to race against the clock.
Thirty-two Revelstoke Nordic skiers took part in what was the first event of the season for many, and the first event ever for younger skiers who missed out on last season. It was also the first race with a full contingent of club skiers for new Revelstoke Nordic Head Coach Zach Hill. Hill hails from Bend, Oregon where he was head coach and a member of the coaching team at the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation (MBSEF) in Bend, Oregon. As well, he held the position of Nordic Director of the Pacific Northwest Ski Association, a Division of US Ski and Snowboard.
Races such as this require a great deal of work and more than 45 local volunteers stepped up to the plate to help with grooming, waxing, timing, marshalling, coaching, organizing parking, announcing, and lunches.
Sponsors also made the event a huge success, with Teck, Begbie Brewery and Southside Market being greatly appreciated.
Out of the 200 participants, 32 Revelstoke skiers participated and had a great showing; with notable performances being the fact that local skiers Cedar Jacob, Maya Royale and Fiona Woodman earned three out of the eight spots to represent the Okanagan Zone at the upcoming BC Winter Games Nordic events that will be at Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club on February 24-27. About 80 skiers born in 2007 and 2008 from across British Columbia will complete in free technique (skate) sprints, a classic technique interval start and a mixed technique relay.
The next race for RNSC’s Gina Cinelli, Elliot Wilson, Cara Gordon, Beth Granstrom, Alexandra Luxmoore, Maeve MacLeod, Sierra McBain, Marlie Molinaro, and Nyssa Thomas will be the National Trials which start on Thursday, January 6th in Canmore, Alberta. They will be competing with almost 650 other athletes from across Canada for spots at the U-23 and Junior World Championships, and the Beijing Olympics Games.